Powell Peak Cirque, Early Retirement, and The Corporate Ladder In search of largely unexplored rock faces in RMNP, Bob Monet and I mutually concluded to venture to the east-facing cirque of Powell Peak. June 28 found us connecting a direct line to Powell’s summit via Early Retirement (III 5.10). Beginning in the left-hand of two prominent, parallel and vertical cracks off the snowfield, the route continued briefly along a scarcely attached flake on the third of its five pitches before traversing right to secure ground and straight up to the summit ridge.
The following day, in search of more secure rock, we opted for a south-facing line along the ridge connecting Powell with Thatchtop, approximately one-quarter mile north-northeast of Powell’s summit. Beginning in a thin seam that splits a slab, and just left of a prominent left-fac-ing dihedral system that leads to a prow-like pillar on the ridge, The Corporate Ladder (III 5.11) angles up and left halfway through the first pitch. Thin, left-facing finger cracks and stemming lead to moderate terrain on the second pitch, where enticing cracks and a wide slot are clearly visible up and left on the third and final pitch. The climber is then afforded a scenic belay along the knife-edge ridge that overlooks the Sky Pond cirque and the stunning Petit Grepon.
Terry Murphy, unaffiliated